Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Dr Frankenstein's zombie electric eel fishing tackle

Merry Christmas Airball friends!

Here is the latest to come out of our workshop, a demo "airplane". Here is a quick video (with some bonus in-flight footage):

And here are some detail photos:

Friday, December 20, 2019

New airball, who dis?

My friend Sergey is testing Airball with noobs and students on N291DR, and has some really interesting feedback. One thing he noticed is that, if it is to be "seen" by peripheral vision, then it should have contrast, because our peripheral vision does not see color. He also asked for the IAS to be visible in the ball somewhere. I added these in and this is the result:

Meanwhile, there are strange developments in the shop, wherein crufty 3D printed parts are being connected to one another. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Turkey eating weekend developments

We drove from San Jose to Mendocino to hang out with family this weekend for Thanksgiving. I thought about flying KRHV KLLR but ... I'm glad I didn't. The weather here in Northern California is a total mess. This is the atmospheric river that is dumping on us:

This is what the sky looks like from the back of the workshop this afternoon.

Since these turkeys are not going to eat themselves, developments on Airball have been modest -- but they have been steady. We now have a little contraption, made of 4 potentiometers and a bit of Arduino widgetry on a piece of cardboard. The inputs are (α, β, q, ρ) where:
α = angle of attack
β = angle of yaw
q = dynamic pressure
ρ = air density
By messing with the dials, the widget sends the same wireless signals as an actual Airball probe would given the same airdata. And then that shows up on a generic Airball display!

It's all a bit jury-rigged for now but we have plans for this as a demonstration and education tool.

Meanwhile, we have two displays sitting in the workshop: one working (the one you see above) and another one that needs its screen replaced:

We have two complete "kits" for two probes, with all 3D printed and electronic parts, missing only the tubing and screws:

Finally, we are working on a new, leaner, meaner version of our strut mounts, this time trying to make them generic "V" blocks so they fit on almost any wing strut. This is one very early prototype and the 3D printed parts for the next iteration:

Stay tuned for build pictures of the next two probes, and details of the development of the new strut mounts.